No-one expects running a business to be easy, but as a wedding entrepreneur it’s not enough to just be a master of your craft. You also need to be the tech guy, marketing expert, social media manager, accountant, sales person and more! But if there’s only one of you, how are you meant to fit it all in? Luckily, there is an abundance of tech tools out there that will help you run your business more easily, and this week I’m sharing my top apps for small business owners!
GSuite (formerly Google Apps)
When it comes to communication, Google has is sussed (and it’s no wonder, with over 70,000 employees of their own to keep in touch with!).
Most of you probably already use Gmail, which is probably the best and easiest to set up email client out there. For just $5 a month per email address and the ability to use your own domain name it’s super affordable.
It also keeps track of you across various devices, so whether you’re sharing documents with clients using Google Drive, or collaborating with colleagues accross the globe with Google Hangouts you always have access to your latest info.
And finally, Google Calendar. I use it to organise my entire life into one easy-to-follow plan.
Slack is a great app for those of you managing teams, it works like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, but is more secure and you can group users into various ‘Channels’ to keep track of multiple projects – it would be great for organising styled shoots!
For email marketing, MailChimp is the best! Staying in touch with potential clients is an integral part of your sales funnel, helping to promote, sell and build your brand.
At it’s simplest, use MailChimp to communicate with your mailing list, and understand how they interact with your emails using Reports so you can tailor your titles, content & more to suit your audience.
I only recently discovered Wave, a brilliant (and FREE!) piece of accounting software and have just made the switch from my previous (expensive!) program.
What makes it great:
- The invoice templates are pretty (a must!) and easily customisable
- You can import customer data from other accounting software or email programs (like Gmail) with ease
- You can link your bank account and import transactions directly to help manage cashflow
- You can invoice on the go using the Invoice by Wave app
- Keep track of expenses using Receipts by Wave, just snap a photo of your receipts and Wave will do the rest
For keeping on track of contract documents and payments Docusign (from £8/month) is the most popular, secure and easy to use solution. While getting a client to sign and return a paper document might be easy, it’s far quicker to do it online using e-signatures, and Docusign will keep everything safe for you (no more lost contracts!)
It’s also available as a free app – so you can create and send documents on the go too!
Rather like Google Calendar, for me Dropbox is a can’t-live-without business tool.
Ten reasons I love Dropbox:
- All your data is stored in the Cloud – meaning you can access it anywhere, on anything!
- You’ll never lose a file if something terrible happens to your laptop
- It’s automagically backed up
- You can restore old versions and deleted files for up to 30 days, useful when you accidentally save over the wrong file (yeh, that’s me)!
- Team folders mean you can share selected folders with team members while keeping financial and personal documents private
- It’s easy to share folders or links with suppliers, clients and press
- Folders are synced across all your devices
- You can save ‘offline’ files on mobile devices for access when there’s no wifi
- It’s really, super easy to navigate
- You get up to 2GB free storage!
As far as to do lists go I’m a pen & paper kinda girl, but I am a fan of this simple tech version. Available on desktop and as an app you can set up custom to do lists and recurring tasks – simply click to mark them done or they’ll automatically move to the next day until they’re complete!
You get a free 30-day trial via this link, and if you like it, it’s only $3 per month. To do list, done.
If you find yourself constantly distracted by emails, social media notifications and cat videos on YouTube (erm, hello!) then a tool like RescueTime can help you be more productive.
This is more than just a website blocker, it actually analyses your daily use to help you understand when you’re productive and when you’re procrastinating on Facebook. With detailed reports and a productivity score, you can set goals and view your progress on your dashboard – with notifications to keep you on track!
What apps do you use to keep your business organised? Share your favourite apps for small business owners in the comments below!
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